100-Year-Old St. Teresa of Avila Parishioner Makes Rosaries for Evangelization

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By Jessica Easthope

There are 59 beads in every rosary. Rosita Lewis knows the breakdown by heart, after all, she has made hundreds.

“I remember everything, I don’t need any book to tell me that,” she said. “I know the rosary and I just keep doing it from my brain.”

It started more than 30 years ago soon after she joined St. Teresa of Avila Parish in South Ozone Park, Queens. But this isn’t Rosita’s hobby – she says it’s her calling. She’s never said no to God or anyone who has asked for one.

“Whoever asks me for a rosary or whoever I think needs one, I just give it to them with joy,” Rosita said.

Each bead glides down the string she uses. Rosita says that every decade of the rosary has helped keep her alive for so many decades. She just celebrated her 100th birthday in June.

“I have no other recreation, I don’t care to go any place, I believe it’s the rosary,” she explained as her secret to a long life.

The rosary has become the center of Rosita’s faith. She prays it four times a day. Over the years, she has sent her handmade rosaries to Haiti, Jamaica and her native Trinidad & Tobago in hopes that they help people connect with their faith. Rosita makes her rosaries extra strong and with every uniform knot, her faith has become unbreakable.

“I believe firmly in my God and my Church, anything He says, whatever I read about Him, I never doubt it,” she said.

Some rosaries she can make in minutes – others take hours. Rosita takes it one section at a time, the same way she’s lived her life, one day at a time.

“Sometimes I feel a kind of numbness,” Rosita said touching her fingers together. “But yet, I can still make the rosaries, maybe that’s my mystery,” she said.

Each bead make Rosita’s rosaries complete, and each rosary – helps her complete her life’s mission.